Peter Peryer

Peter Peryer was born in Auckland in 1941. He graduated from the University of Auckland (MA Education) in 1972, and also lectured in English at Auckland Teacher’s College. Later in 1973 he began photographing, and was largely self-taught. In 1977 the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt mounted the first retrospective of his work. In 1978, with the aid of a grant from the Arts Council of New Zealand he made a study tour of Europe and America. In 1980 he received another grant from the Arts Council to develop his studio facilities. Earlier in 1982 he participated in the Fourth Sydney Biennale. In 1985 he travelled to America. This was followed by a retrospective exhibition mounted by the Sarjeant Gallery in 1986, which toured throughout New Zealand. For the next ten years Peryer held regular public and private gallery exhibitions. In 1995 Peter Weiermair, Director of the Kustverein, Frankfurt a Main, Germany curated with Gregory Burke a third Retrospective exhibition of Peryer’s photographs entitled ‘Second Nature: Peter Peryer Photographs’. Following this there was a further survey, 'At Home and Away’, at the Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui. In 2001 he had his third survey exhibition at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth. Subsequently, he settled in the Taranaki region where he continued to work until his death in 2018.
Adapted from Auckland Art Gallery website: 8/4/2020

Born in Auckland
Graduated (MA Education) University of Auckland
The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt mounted first retrospective of his work
Study tour of Europe and America (QEII Arts Council grant)
First international exhibition Second Nature: Peter Peryer Photographs
New Zealand Order of Merit
Arts Foundation Laureate Award
Two significant exhibitions, Erika and The Left Hand Raised
Showed work at the Heide Museum of Contemporary Art in Melbourne
William Hodges Fellowship

Renowned for his critical eye, it took years for Peryer to perfect an image and as a result his output was comparatively small and slow - something he saw as a consequence of working with film and the silver gelatin process, rather than artistic temperament. The arrival of the digital camera and printer transformed his practice, allowing him to play with colour and scale and to move rapidly from concept to finished art work.

Originally a teacher, Peter Peryer had a degree in English and a Masters in Education. Born in 1941, it was not until his 30’s that he took up photography which became his sole occupation.
In 1998 he had a major exhibition and publication in Germany called Second Nature. This exhibition toured in Germany and Australia. Peter Peryer was the recipient of several awards. He received an ONZM for his contribution to photography in this country and he was a Fulbright Scholar, a grant that enabled him to continue studying his medium in the United States. In 2007 Peter was awarded the William Hodges Fellowship which enabled him to live in Invercargill for 4 months, resulting in an exhibition of 31 images from that period at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery in early 2008. Peter's work regularly appears in books and magazines. During 2008 images of his were seen on the television series The Big Picture, hosted by Hamish Keith. Auckland University Press will publish a book on his work and he is spending the year in Alexandra as the second Henderson House Artist in Residence. The residency was established by philanthropists Russell & Barbara Henderson in the house that was designed for them by Austrian architect Ernst Plischke. His works are widely collected and are held in all major New Zealand Institutions, and internationally, including the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Australian National Gallery in Canberra.
Arts Foundation website 5/04/12
b.1941, d.2018


Works by this Artist